Bill is the co-founder of the Solution-Oriented Approach, a therapeutic method that focuses on identifying unrealized possibilities while acknowledging emotional and contextual issues. During graduate school, Bill studied with the eccentric and creative psychiatrist Milton Erickson (he was Dr. Erickson's only work/study student), he later became a major teacher/translator of Dr. Erickson's approaches to clinical hypnosis and change.
Ericksonian Hypnosis and Where Hypnosis Works provide 50 CEs and together qualify for NBCCH Certification or Designation.
When I first went away to college, I floundered.
Painfully shy, I made a few friends, but spent most of my time alone.
Since it was my first time taking care of myself, I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t eat well and stayed up much of the night, making it hard to get up for classes the next day.
Taking philosophy, I began to doubt all my taken-for-granted meanings, and began to drift into meaninglessness.
In short, I became depressed, sleeping 18 hours a day and always tired when I was awake.
I didn’t know about depression, so I didn’t know I should seek some help.
I began to formulate a plan to do myself in.
I decided to visit my three friends to say goodbye.
The first two were about as messed up as I was and told me they felt the same as I did, but were too afraid to take any action to end their suffering.
My third and last friend had a much different reaction.
“What? Why would you do that? You can’t kill yourself!”
I was surprised by her reaction, but explained my situation.
“I can barely function. Every time I am around people, I hurt. I feel like I have no skin. I’m all exposed nerves. I’m too shy to get a girlfriend. I’m lonely.
“All I want to do is write poetry and play music. But that won’t work. I’m having a tough time in this protected environment of college, but in a few years, I’ll have to go out and work. I won’t make it in the workplace. I’m too lazy and I would hate that kind of environment.”
“Things are bad now, but they are only going to get worse. I just can’t do it.”
She responded, “Okay, I have these three aunts who live in Nebraska. They’ve never married and I’m their favorite niece. They have been frugal and saved a lot of money and invested in farmland.
“They have promised me that when they die, I will inherit money and the farmland.
“If you promise me you won’t kill yourself, I promise you that as soon as I inherit one of those farms, you can go live there rent-free for the rest of your life. You won’t have to be around people. You can write poetry and play music. You can grow your own food.”
Hmm. That sounded like a possibility. Eventually I agreed and gradually started to come out of my depression and function a bit better. I got curious about mental health and that led me to get my degree in psychology and ultimately become a therapist.
When I met Dr. Milton Erickson during the course of my studies and he began to show me a method that used the future rather than the past as a fulcrum for change, I recognized immediately this is what my friend Mary had done to pull me back from the brink of giving up.
She had enrolled me in a future with possibilities that had pulled me out of my depression.
I learned of an idea called Future Pull and started to call the idea of using the future instead of the past as a change technique and focus that.
Since I am leaving my psychotherapy and teaching life behind, before I fade away from that life and career completely, I want to make sure I leave the ideas that have become so important to me behind as part of my legacy.
So I am offering a free one-hour webinar (with one FREE CE hour for most mental health professionals) on January 11. Future Pull: Creating Change From the Future Back will have me live on Zoom at 12pm (Central Time- United States) on January 11. But even if you cannot join for the live time, please still sign-up as there will be a recorded replay afterwards of the training.
You just have to sign up to get in on it. Being on live will give you an opportunity to ask questions at the end of my presentation. And I plan to record it so you can get notification of the replay if you sign up.
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